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Summary / Analysis of Comments

  • To: "absentee-voting-2008@xxxxxxxxx" <absentee-voting-2008@xxxxxxxxx>
  • Subject: Summary / Analysis of Comments
  • From: Penelope Wrenn <penelope.wrenn@xxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Thu, 22 May 2008 18:40:21 -0700

Summary and analysis of public comments for:


Comment period ended: 21 May 2008
Summary published: 21 May 2008


The Council of the Generic Names Supporting Organization (GNSO) approved a 
resolution to recommend to the ICANN Board of Directors (the Board) a 
modification of the ICANN Bylaws that would permit electronic absentee voting 
in certain circumstances in order to allow Council members who are absent from 
council meetings to vote. The recommended modification is available at 
[PDF, 60K].

Currently, a council member is unable to vote on an issue if absent from the 
council meeting at which the vote occurs. The Council found that this not only 
disenfranchises members from opportunities to vote, but also, disenfranchises 
the constituencies they represent.

In drafting the resolution, the GNSO considered carefully the way in which it 
operates today, and produced a report entitled, “Draft GNSO Council Request to 
the Board to enable full enfranchisement of the GNSO Council’s voting 
responsibilities.” The report examines closely how the Council typically 
deliberates prior to initiating a vote, and concludes that allowing absentee 
voting would enhance participation by enfranchising absent voters through a 
means for absent members to vote electronically.

The public was invited to comment on this recommendation before consideration 
by the Board.


[The General Comments and Analysis sections are combined given the number of 
comments received.]

A total of one (1) community submission was made to this comment forum.  The 
commentary supports permitting GNSO Council members to vote when they cannot 
attend a meeting in person or in real time via telephone.  The commenter also 
would be in favor of allowing members to assign their votes to other members of 
the Council, if they are unable to attend a meeting.

The commenter points to the heavy workload that the GNSO Council imposes on 
volunteers, and states that scheduling conflicts, especially those associated 
with paid or “day” jobs and time zone differences, should not preclude members 
of the Council from voting.  Using members of the Noncommercial Constituency 
(NCUC) as examples, the commenter further states that as unpaid volunteers, who 
are elected by and represent the community, members should not be 
disenfranchised due to absence. [MM]


The ICANN Board of Directors will consider the GNSO recommended modification to 
the ICANN Bylaws during an upcoming meeting.


Contributors to this forum included the following:

MM   Milton Mueller
WM          Web Mail

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